College Football Picks Week 4: Predicting Scores of All Pac-12 Games
After a below-average Week 3 for Pac-12 teams where they finished 6-5 altogether, Week 4 features five great games. Four of those games will be Pac-12 showdowns.
Colorado is the lone Pac-12 team that doesn't have an in-conference opponent, as it travels to Ohio State to face the Buckeyes.
Stanford, Utah and Washington State are the only teams from the Pac-12 with a bye in Week 4.
Week 4 is set up for what will be a very interesting week for Pac-12 teams, and here are my game predictions.
UCLA at Oregon State
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Line: Oregon State -3.5
UCLA had very high expectations for 2011 and has already fallen way short of those expectations. Following a rough 1-2 start for UCLA, Rick Neuheisel certainly is on the hot seat.
The Bruins are coming off a tough 49-20 loss at home against No. 23 Texas only to hit the road for the start of their Pac-12 schedule.
On the other hand ,Oregon State is 0-2 and lost to Sacramento State 29-28 in Week 1. The Beavers followed that loss with a beating at No. 8 Wisconsin, losing 35-0.
This obviously is the weakest game on the Pac-12 schedule, although Johnathan Franklin is a player to watch out for for UCLA. Franklin has rushed for 267 yards and two touchdowns in 2011 on a 5.7 yard per carry average.
Final score: UCLA 31, Oregon State 28
Cal at Washington
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Line: Washington -2.5
This game certainly has shootout written all over it and could be the most entertaining Pac-12 game of Week 4.
Cal put up 63 points last week against Presbyterian, but that isn't saying too much. The Golden Bears own a road victory at Colorado already and boast a 3-0 record on the season.
The Huskies started out the season 2-0 and then found themselves in trouble at No. 11 Nebraska as they lost 51-38.
Both teams have averaged more than 35 points on the season, so offense should be aplenty in this Week 4 matchup. The key to the game will be Cal junior quarterback Zach Maynard. Maynard has thrown for 724 yards, nine touchdowns and three picks on the year.
Final score: Cal 42, Washington 35
Colorado at Ohio State
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Line: Ohio State -15.5
Colorado got its first win of the season in Week 3 against Colorado State, 28-14. The win improved the Buffaloes record to 1-2 going into their second road game of the year.
Ohio State is a team that has dealt with many problems following the preseason drama of Terrelle Pryor and Jim Tressel.
The Buckeyes are 2-1,but did lose last week on the road to Miami 24-6. Both of the Buckeyes' first two wins came against weaker opponents in Akron and Toledo.
This game could be a bit closer than the line indicates. I certainly would give the Buffaloes a shot considering the way the Buckeyes played last week.
Buffaloes senior quarterback Tyler Hansen will be the key to the game as he has thrown for 912 yards, seven touchdowns and only one interception in 2011.
Final score: Colorado 21, Ohio State 31
No. 12 Oregon at Arizona
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Line: Oregon -14.5
Following an opening loss to then-No. 4 LSU, the Ducks have been on a roll. They have scored 125 points in their last two games en route to a 2-1 record.
The Ducks rolled over both Nevada and Missouri State and now play their first Pac-12 game on the road.
Poor Arizona has played back-to-back ranked opponents in then-No. 9 Oklahoma State and then-No. 6 Stanford. Why not make it three in a row?
After getting beat 37-10 last week at home by Stanford, things don't get any easier for the Wildcats, who are 1-2.
LaMichael James is the obvious key to this game as he is coming off a 12-carry, 204-yard, three-touchdown performance against Missouri State. Look for the Ducks to cover, not duck and cover.
Final score: Oregon 52, Arizona 27
No. 23 USC at Arizona State
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Line: Arizona State -3
USC does bring in a perfect 3-0 record into its first road game, but it has been far from perfect in 2011.
The Trojans' first two wins came by a combined 11 points. Not very impressive considering they played both Minnesota and Utah at home.
Arizona State had a huge win at home Week 2 against No. 21 Missouri 37-30. The Sun Devils followed that big win up with a 17-14 loss at Illinois in their first road game.
They now are back at home with a great opportunity under the spotlight. Just as they surprised Missouri, I expect the Sun Devils to surprise the Trojans.
Arizona State junior quarterback Brock Osweiler will be the key to the game. Osweiler has thrown for 871 yards, six touchdowns,and three interceptions on the year. Osweiler is coming off his worst game of the season and will need to bounce back if the Sun Devils wish to beat another ranked opponent.
Final score: USC 24, Arizona State 27